Meet the new MNDNR Mississippi River Coordinator, Vanessa Perry.
Brian Nerbonne, MNDNR
I’m excited to announce that Vanessa Perry is Minnesota DNR’s new Mississippi River Coordinator! Vanessa will coordinate and administer DNR’s interdisciplinary activities in the Mississippi River basin from Upper St. Anthony Falls south to the Iowa boarder, including coordinating the DNR’s Mississippi River Staff Team and Mississippi River Steering Team. Vanessa will represent the state of Minnesota and DNR on multi-agency working groups and partnership teams included within the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) basin states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.
Vanessa has a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning, and an M.S. and PhD in Natural Resource Management. Her dynamic 20-year career includes leading Open Lands protection county program in Montana, supporting Smart Growth projects in Minnesota communities, and private land conservation with Minnesota Land Trust. Most recently she has served as a Planning Director with Minnesota DNR’s Operation Services Division leading the 4 The Outdoors future funding initiative, providing strategic support for several leadership teams, and leading other high priority department projects. Vanessa has a particular interest in the “people part” of environmental issues, and has focused on community-centered conservation, decision making, engagement, and social science assessment. She is passionate about the Mississippi River, and I know you’ll really enjoy working with her.
Vanessa and her husband are recent empty-nesters in St. Paul and her very spoiled black lab greatly relishes the extra time and attention. She enjoys creative cooking with local, seasonal ingredients, is an avid traveler, and her free time is most likely to be spent with that spoiled dog somewhere – hiking along the river, hanging at a brewery, or trying out a new training activity.
She will be based out of DNR’s Central Region Headquarters in St. Paul, and she will begin the job February 16. When you have a chance, please join me in welcoming Vanessa to the Upper Mississippi!